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Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam
                   BELI MAWR AND LLYR LLEDIATH IN WELSH PEDIGREES
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
 
          A number of the Welsh royal families trace their ancestry to the man called Beli Mawr, whose pedigrees make him descend from the legendary Brutus of Troy.[1]  We doubt his birth-name was Beli (BAY-lee), this being one of the major Celtic gods, the God of the Sun.  But a real man of some name spawned the ensuing families, so we shall call him Beli Mawr for lack of sources citing his birth name.  He should not be confused with the fictional Beli and wife, Don, found in Welsh mythology[2].
 
         The earliest extant pedigree contains what we believe to be a later copyist's gloss which attempts to describe his son Affleth as "who was son of Beli Mawr and Anna, she said to be a cousin of Virgin Mary mother of our Lord Jesus Christ"[3].  Not only was the era of Beli Mawr 100 years too early for such a wife, there appear to be at least two (incorrect) reasons why some early writers thought the ensuing family was related to the Virgin Mary.  In some very early texts, his name was abbreviated "B.M." which was wrongly thought to mean "Beata Maria", the blessed Mary.  But more likely, his name was simply confused with the Biblical man, Heli, who is cited as the wife of Anna and father of Mary[4]. Geoffrey of Monmouth also referred to Beli Mawr as "Heli".
 
        In an earlier paper[5], we reproduced the pedigree which contains the 700 years of links from Beli Mawr back to the legendary Brutus, and we shall not dwell here on its authenticity.  Rather we shall present the pedigrees of the major families which claim descent from him.  The very early names are spelled several ways in the various sources; the orthography we use is our modern equivalents:
 
                           130 BC  Beli Mawr
                                          l
                               100  Affleth (Lludd)
                                          l
                                70  Afallach
                    ______________l________
                    l                                    l
           40  Owain                      35  Enddolen
                    l                                    l
        10  Bryddgwyn                     5  Endos
                    l                                    l
       20AD  Dubun                    25AD  Eneid
                    l                                    l
         50  Onwedd                     60  Endeyrn
                    l                                    l
        80  Anwerydd                    90  Endigant
                    l                        _______l_________
                    l                        l                          l
      110  Amgolydd      120  Rydeyrn         125  Deheuwant
                    l                        l                          l
         140  Dwfyn         155  Rhifedel         155  Rydeyrn
                    l                        l                          l
           170  Doli            185  Gradd         185  Gwrtheyrn
                    l                        l                          l
           205  Cein           215  Urban          220  Cadeyrn
                    l                        l                          l
       235  Gwyndog       250  Telpwll      250  Rhuddfedel Frych
                    l                        l             ________l_______
                    l                        l             l                        l
          265  Iago      280  Deheuwaint       l                        l
                    l                        l             l                        l
         295  Teged          310  Tecfan        l                        l
                    l                        l             l                        l
 325  Padarn Beisrudd    340  Coel Hen       l                        l
                    l                                      l                       l
         355  Edern(a)                        _____l                        l
                    l                             l                                 l
       385  Cunedda         280  Gloyw Gwallt Hir(b)        285  Brydw
                                                  l                                 l
                                      315  Guidolyn                 315  Pasgen
                                                  l                                 l
                                       350  Gwydol                350  Cadeyrn
                                                  l                                 l
                                     385  Gwrtheyrn(c)    380  Cadell Ddyrnllwg
 
       (a) One of the earliest man in the extended family whose wife is known; he married a daughter of Coel Hen, a lady we date c. 370
        (b)  No sources cite the ancestry of Gloyw.  See note (c) for our attaching him to this family
        (c)  It is his position in the family timeline, and the fact that the only other man known to bear this name occurs in the pedigree of Cadell Ddyrnllwg, which makes our conjecture a reasonable guess.  He also chose the names of ancestors of Cadell for his sons' names.  This man was known to history as Vortigern. 
       
         You may have noted that we did not include another family said to have descended from Beli Mawr: the senior line which ruled the Catuvellauni tribe during the invasions of both Julius Caesar and Claudius.  That branch became extinct in the male line early in the second century AD and was never involved with Welsh genealogies.  It included Tecfan (Taciovanus), Cynfelyn (Cunobelinus) and Caradog (Caraticus), men familiar from Roman histories.  The Welsh trace their ancestry to a younger son of Lludd called Afallach, a man who relocated to another part of the isle of Britain probably by marrying a princess from another tribe. 
 
         It is not known where the early men in our chart made their homes.  But by the time Rome left Britain in the early 5th century, two branches were seated in the far north (Cunedda and Coel Hen) and two in what is now Powys (Gwrtheyrn aka Vortigern and Cadell).  Cunedda relocated to Gwynedd where his family had intermarried with men descended from Llyr Llediath and he was the founder of the First Royal Dynasty of Gwynedd.  Men descended from Coel Hen were called "The Men of The North"[6] and they did not migrate to Wales until the Saxons forced them from their lands in the 7th century.  A man of that line founded the Second Royal Dynasty of Gwynedd in the 9th century[7].  We think a double marriage united the two Powys families in the 5th century[8]; the First Powys Dynasty was descended from Cadell Ddyrnllwg, while the Second Powys Dynasty descended from Cassanauth Wledig, a man we believe was a grandson of Gwrtheyrn (Vortigern).
 
          In the first century AD, the portion of Wales west and south of the territory later called Powys was ruled by descendants of Llyr Llediath.  He is another man of unknown birth name, simply known to us as "the man of the seas who spoke with a foreign accent".  We suspect he was a Menapii sea trader who spoke Goidelic Celt.  His son is called Bran, but both he and his father were simply equated to Celtic gods of those names.  It was Caradog ap Bran who was defeated by the Romans in 51AD and taken to Rome as a prisioner.  By the time Rome left Britain early in the 5th century, this family held virtually all the coastal lands circling Wales on three sides.  Thereafter, it intermarried with the descendants of Cunedda and, by the 7th century, ruled only the southeast part of Wales.  
 
         The extant pedigrees of Llyr Llediath are almost certainly corrupt[9]; they seek to connect him to Brutus of Troy but lack about 15 generations to be credible. The families which claim descent from him, however, can present chronologically stable pedigrees:
 
                                          60BC  Llyr Llediath
                                                         l
                                                 30  Bran
                                                         l
                                             5AD  Caradog
                                                         l
                                                 35  Cyllin
                                                         l
                                                65  Owain
                                                         l
                                        100  Meirchion Fawr Filwr
                                                         l
                                              130  Gorug
                                                         l
                                           160  Gwrddwyfn
                                                         l
                        1st wife==========Einudd========2nd wife
                                          l           190          l
                                          l          __________l__________
                             220  Caradog(a)  l                l                l
                                                    l                l                l
                                         230  Arthfael(b)  Eudaf Hen(c) Gereint(d)
                                                                  230             235  
 
     (a) King of Dumnonia, the westernmost point in Britain both north and south of the Bristol Channel.  Geoffrey of Monmouth calls him Duke of Cornwall and advisor to Eudaf Hen.  Probably the father of usurping Emperor Carausius
     (b)  Ancestor of the Gwent Dynasty which included Meurig ap Tewdrig and Morgan ap Athrwys
     (c)  King of Cernyw in north Wales and father of Elen; his great-granddaughter, Stradwel, was the grandmother of Cunedda whose descendants ruled Gwynedd until the early 800's
    (d)  King of Llydaw in north Wales; his son Cynan Meriadog is said to have taken an army to Gaul under Emperor Maximianus Herculus and received lands in Brittany which he named after his lands in Wales 
 
      
           The early traditions claim that Llyr Llediath had another son, Manawydan, from whom the Isle of Man took its name.  But these stories also say that Bran ap Llyr Llediath was seated at Harlech in Ardudwy.  If Llyr had been raised on the Isle of Man before relocating to Ardudwy in Gwynedd, his Manx Goidelic speech would have been intelligible to the men in his new home but different enough from their Brythonic Celt to call it a "foreign accent". 
 
          It is possible to suggest that Llyr Llediath may have shared common ancestors with Beli Mawr.  Note the similarity of names found in the 3rd century BC ancestors claimed for both men:
 
                  285BC  Dyfnarth(a)           285BC  Dingarth(b)
                                 l                                    l
                      255  Crydon                    255   Cridol
                                 l                                    l
                     225  Cerwyt                      225  Cerint
                                 l                                    l
                       195  Eneid                     190  Moruran
                                 l                                    l
                     160  Manogan                     155  Arth
                                 l                                    l
                 130BC  Beli Mawr                     125  Ceit
                                                                     l
                                                       95  Garar Garanhir(c)
                                                                     l
                                                     65BC  Llyr Llediath
 
         (a) His pedigrees in Historia Gruffudd vab Cynan and ABT 1(a) continue "ap Prydein ap Aedd Mawr and extend back to Brutus of Troy 
           (b)  His pedigrees in Bonedd yr Arwyr and Brenhinllwyth Morganwc continue "ap Annun ap Albanus/Lainus" and connect with Brutus
           (c)  He is cited as "Garar ap Gerein Hir" and "Barar ap Ceri Hir"; since the nickname "Garanhir" occurs elsewhere (denoting "long thin legs like a crane"), and since Llyr Llediath occurs only 2 generations later than Beli Mawr, we posit that Garar's birthname may be incorrectly separated from his nickname with an "ap"
 
        
           The top three names in both pedigrees could represent the same men; if so, then Eneid and Moruran would be brothers. However, we only mention this as one possibility.  It is equally as likely that no one knew the real ancestry of Llyr Llediath, and early men fabricated a pedigree seeking to connect him with Brutus of Troy.
 
 
                                        
 
NOTES:
[1] Nennius 10 & 18; ABT 1a; Historia Gruffudd vab Cynan
[2] Characters found in the Mabinogion, Don is called the wife of Beli.  One of the many anachronisms which abound in those tales has the daughter of Beli and Don marrying Llyr Llediath.  If the historic Beli Mawr ever met Llyr Llediath, it was when Beli was an old man and Llyr a baby, but there is no reason to assume the two families were more than rulers of widely separated tribes
[3] Harleian Ms 3859, 1
[4] Luke 3:23 makes Heli the son of Matthat and father of Joseph, but it deliberately omits females.  Most believe Matthat was the father of Anna who married Heli and this couple were the parents of Virgin Mary who was betrothed to Joseph
[5] See "Brutus, the Legendary Eponym of Britain" elsewhere on this site
[6] The Welsh called these men "Gwyr y Gogledd"
[7] Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad, who descended from Coel Hen through Llywarch Hen
[8] See "Ancient Powys" elsewhere on this site
[9] Bonedd yr Arwyr 33; Brenhinllwyth Morganwc from Pen. 178, 10